Tag Archives: flu vaccine

Mandatory Flu Shot for Preschoolers? (Article)

Should the influenza vaccine be made mandatory for young children? Though childcare facilities have long required many vaccines to prevent children from contracting diseases, the influenza vaccine has often been overlooked. As the flu is generally perceived to be less threatening than diseases such as Hepatitis B, polio, or diphtheria, many parents forgo the recommended influenza vaccine and focus on more serious disease vaccines. However, the flu spreads rapidly and relentlessly, especially throughout childcare facilities, and it can cause a child to become very sick. Typically, the flu causes a high fever, sore throat, coughing, nausea, vomiting, and severe body aches, but in more severe cases, it can lead to hospitalization and even death. Pre-school aged children are especially prone to severe flu-related illnesses and complications. Thus, the flu cannot be overlooked, and if a small annual vaccine can prevent it, perhaps it’s time to tweak the list of recommended vaccines.

The state of Connecticut was the second U.S. state to implement the required influenza vaccines for children between the ages of 6 and 59 months who were entering childcare facilities. Since September of 2010, when Connecticut added the vaccine to the required vaccine list, the vaccine rate increased from 67.8 % to 84.1%, while the number of hospitalizations showed a marked decrease. Connecticut is a prime example of the effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing the spread of the illness.

As we can see, the influenza vaccine is incredibly effective. If this one little step in prevention can prevent our children from suffering the miserable symptoms of the flu and spreading it to others, perhaps our states should reconsider their vaccine policies. For those who would be against the vaccine for medical or religious reasons, waivers would be available, so overall, such policies would do far more good than harm. Even if states are slow to enact such changes, consider getting your child vaccinated anyway. Your precious child will be kept safe from the flu virus inevitably found hiding all over childcare facilities. In addition to the vaccine, washing hands, avoiding contact with the sick, and avoiding touching the eyes, nose, and mouth will help reduce the risk of getting the flu. Most importantly, for your child’s sake, don’t hesitate, vaccinate!

I welcome your comments at my blog, www.docsmo.com. Until next time.

Smo Notes:


Written collaboratively by Keri Register and Paul Smolen M.D.

Getting a Grippe on the ‘Moving Target’ We Call Influenza (Pedcast)

Doc Smo begins the new year with the latest information about Influenza. Learn how vaccinating your children against flu this season will not only help them, but those around them.

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